I read a fantastic article over at Ars Technica
about the MPAA's
latest attempt to add insane DRM to all of our lives. Basically, the giant content conglomerates are so afraid that people might see or hear their content without actually paying for it
(gasp!), that they are going to great lengths to coerce government to coerce hardware manufactures to make devices that coerce consumers into playing by the rules. And of course, the rules are going to be written by the content conglomerates, so they will be more restrictive and draconian than ever.
Whenever I read an article like this, I find it to be really distressing. I think that if the MPAA were to succeed in all of their goals -- trying to consume content would become not only expensive, but annoying as well. I think that the more the content conglomerates try to crack down, the more people are either going to either:
- Turn the TV off,
- Turn to piracy (because as we all know, these restrictions won't stop the pirates), or
- Turn to small content producers, who are thrilled when anybody consumes their stuff.
I know that personally, I would probably do some sort of combination of the three. But I would much rather buy
content, for a reasonable price, that lets me use it in the way that I want
. So far, Apple has been doing a pretty reasonable job in this effort (although FairPlay
certainly isn't perfect, not by any stretch of the imagination).
The optimist in me hopes that we'll have this sort of cheap and fair-use friendly content in the future, but currently, my inner pessimist is winning out.